754 F.Supp. 1161 (N.D.Ill. 1990), 89 CR 908, United States v. Andrews

Docket Nº:89 CR 908.
Citation:754 F.Supp. 1161
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Henry ANDREWS, Thomas Bates, Roger Bowman, Jeff Boyd, George Carter, Jackie Clay, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Jerome Crowder, Lawrence Crowder, Floyd Davis, William Doyle, Harry Evans, Eddie Franklin, Bernard Green, Charles Green, Henry Leon Harris, Earl Hawkins, Louis Hoover, J.L. Houston, Eugene Hunter, De
Case Date:November 06, 1990
Court:United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Northern District of Illinois

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754 F.Supp. 1161 (N.D.Ill. 1990)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,


Henry ANDREWS, Thomas Bates, Roger Bowman, Jeff Boyd, George Carter, Jackie Clay, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Jerome Crowder, Lawrence Crowder, Floyd Davis, William Doyle, Harry Evans, Eddie Franklin, Bernard Green, Charles Green, Henry Leon Harris, Earl Hawkins, Louis Hoover, J.L. Houston, Eugene Hunter, Derrick Kees, Isiah Kitchen, Alan Knox, Sammy Knox, Roland Lewis, Felix Mayes, Melvin Mayes, Walter Pollard, Derrick Porter, Noah Robinson, Michael Sardin, James Speights, Anthony Sumner, Freddie Elwood Sweeney, Melvin Tillman, Edward Williams and Ricky Dean Williams, Defendants.

No. 89 CR 908.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.

Nov. 6, 1990

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William Hogan, Ted Poulous, Asst. U.S. Attys., Chicago, Ill., for U.S.

Gary Ravitz, Chicago, Ill., for Henry Andrews.

Robert Clarke, Chicago, Ill., for Thomas Bates.

Edna Selan Epstein, Chicago, Ill., for Jeff Boyd.

Sheldon Nagelberg, Chicago, Ill., for George Carter.

Victor Pilolla, Oak Park, Ill., for Edgar Cooksey.

David Thomas, Chicago, Ill., for Andrew Craig.

Carl Clavelli, Chicago, Ill., for Jerome Crowder.

Standish Willis, Chicago, Ill., for Lawrence Crowder.

Marianne Jackson, Chicago, Ill., for William Doyle.

Rick Halprin, Chicago, Ill., for Charles Green.

Jim Epstein, Chicago, Ill., for Louis Hoover.

Chris Averkiou, Chicago, Ill., for J.L. Houston.

Robert Raab, Chicago, Ill., for Isiah Kitchen.

Marc Kadish, Chicago, Ill., for Alan Knox.

James A. McGurk, Chicago, Ill., for Sammy Knox.

Keith Spielfogel, Chicago, Ill., for Roland Lewis.

Ron Clark, Chicago, Ill., for Felix Mayes.

Marty Agran, Chicago, Ill., for Derrick Porter.

Adam Bourgeois, Chicago, Ill., Robert F. Simone, Philadelphia, Pa., for Noah Robinson.

James Graham, Chicago, Ill., for Michael Sardin.

Ron Bredemann, Park Ridge, Ill., for James Speights.

Rick Jalovec, Chicago, Ill., for Freddie Elwood Sweeney.

June Fournier, Long Grove, Ill., for Melvin Tillman.



ASPEN, District Judge:

The labyrinthine 305-page, 175-count indictment in this case, nearly two inches thick and weighing almost four pounds, names thirty-eight defendants, thirty-seven of whom are alleged to have been members or associates of the El Rukns, an infamous Chicago street gang. It details a maze of well over 250 factually separate criminal acts committed from 1966 to 1989 in many different locations and, for each act, alleges the participation of varying combinations of defendants and countless unindicted co-conspirators. The government's justification for including many of these otherwise unconnected criminal events in one indictment and one trial is that each was allegedly committed to attain power, control, and wealth for the street gang.

Defendants Jackie Clay, Harry Evans, Henry Leon Harris, Earl Hawkins, Eugene Hunter, Derrick Kees, Anthony Sumner,

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Freddie Elwood Sweeney, and Ricky Dean Williams have all pleaded guilty. Further guilty pleas are not anticipated. Defendants Roger Bowman, Floyd Davis, Eddie Franklin, Bernard Green, Melvin Mayes, Walter Pollard, and Edward Williams are presently fugitives and may not be apprehended in time for trial. This means that at least twenty-two defendants, but as many as twenty-nine, will be going to trial. Several defendants have filed motions to sever this indictment pursuant to Rule 8(b) or, in the alternative, Rule 14 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the issue before the Court is whether we should permit these 175 diverse charges to be tried in a single mega-trial of unprecedented projected duration. We believe that we should not. Therefore, for the reasons discussed below, although we deny the Rule 8(b) motions, the Rule 14 motions are granted.1

I. Indictment

A. Count One-RICO Conspiracy

Count One of the indictment charges all but one of the defendants2 with conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) (1988), and alleges that the El Rukn organization is a racketeering "enterprise" as defined by 18 U.S.C.§ 1961(4).3 It describes a cohesive organization with tightly controlled operations and a formal chain of command. As alleged, unindicted co-conspirator Jeff Fort masterminded the activities of the El Rukns and wielded ultimate and unquestioned authority. He was assisted by thirty-five defendants whom the government contends were El Rukn "generals" or "officers," the organization's second and third levels of command, respectively. The government contends that the remaining two defendants named in Count One, although not El Rukn members, were otherwise intimately associated with the organization.

Under the direction and control of Fort, the named defendants and other unindicted co-conspirators are alleged to have conducted El Rukn affairs through the commission of an astonishing number of racketeering acts, including at least twenty murders, twelve attempted murders, eleven conspiracies to murder, one act of kidnapping, wide-scale drug trafficking, and numerous acts of obstruction of justice, including one attempt to bribe a judge and several acts of witness intimidation, retaliation, and tampering. As alleged, all of these wide-ranging and diverse offenses are connected, although at times somewhat loosely, to the affairs of the El Rukn street gang.

B. Count Two-Substantive RICO

Count Two charges thirty-six defendants with substantive violations of RICO under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c)4 and recounts 128 separate acts of racketeering, many of which are also alleged in Count One.5 The number of racketeering acts that each defendant is alleged to have committed ranges from as many as seventy for Melvin Mayes to only two for Isiah Kitchen. The nature of acts charged also varies. Some defendants are charged with numerous violent racketeering acts and only one or two narcotics-related acts, while other defendants are charged solely with narcotics-related acts.

1. Violent Racketeering Acts

According to the allegations in Count Two, the long string of violent racketeering

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acts began in May 1974, when several defendants murdered Gilbert Connors, the brother of a rival drug dealer, to prevent encroachment on the El Rukn drug trade. To facilitate a cover-up of this crime, the same defendants subsequently killed Gregory Freeman on May 22, 1974, and blamed this murder on a witness to the Connors homicide. As a result, El Rukn members were able to persuade the witness to refuse to testify and the charges in both the Connors and Freeman murder cases were subsequently dropped.

Other murders were committed to enforce and enhance Jeff Fort's control over the El Rukns. Fort ordered El Rukn members, including several defendants, to kill disloyal members and former El Rukn leaders, including Willie McLilly, Roy Love, and Mickey Cogwell. McLilly and Love were killed on November 29, 1974, and Cogwell was killed on February 25, 1977.

The El Rukns also went to extreme lengths to protect its members from criminal prosecution. In August 1977, eighteen defendants conspired to kill Audrina Thomas to prevent her from testifying against two El Rukn generals charged with murder. Then, in a case of mistaken identity, Thomas' sister, Rowena James, was shot and killed on September 1, 1977. In January of 1987, four defendants and other El Rukn members kidnapped Patricia McKinley in an attempt to prevent her from testifying against an El Rukn general charged with the murder of Maurice Coleman.

The El Rukns committed a slew of other murders and attempted murders related to narcotics activity. On March 12, 1980, pursuant to Fort's order, two defendants killed Douglas Ellison because of a dispute involving a narcotics debt. Three months later, eight defendants conspired to murder Lemont Timberlake because he failed to accede to demands to stop dealing narcotics in El Rukn-controlled territory. This plan was carried out on June 17, 1980, when Timberlake was shot and killed in a vacant lot on the south side of Chicago.

From about April 1981 to January 1983, as a result of a drug territorial dispute, twenty-three defendants conspired to kill the top leaders and members of the Titanic Stones, a rival gang, including Eugene Hairston, George Thomas, Barnett Hall, Ray East, Robert East, and Willie Bibbs. During that same time period, Willie Bibbs and Barnett Hall were killed and George Thomas was the target of an attempted murder. In the course of the Thomas attempt, on January 23, 1983, five defendants and other gang members killed Charmaine Nathan and shot and attempted to kill Sheila Jackson.

In April 1985, as a result of another drug territorial dispute with a rival gang, twenty-three defendants conspired to kill various members of the King Cobra street gang. In furtherance of this conspiracy, during the last week of April, teams of El Rukns cruised the streets of Chicago in efforts to locate and murder King Cobra members. During this time, several defendants and other El Rukn members murdered Robert Jackson, Rico Chalmers, Glendon McKinley, and Vicki Nolden and attempted to murder Theotis Clark and Andre Chalmers. McKinley and Nolden were innocent bystanders swept up in the wave of violence.

The El Rukns committed other murders and attempted murders as a result of separate drug territorial disputes. On January 7, 1982, Bruce Davis, a rival drug dealer, and his wife Sheila were each shot about six times...

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